A Very Ugly E.T. In “Alien”

Ridley Scott‘s Alien (1979) is a flawed (too foul-mouthed, for one thing) but scary sci-fi treat.

Some of the crew on the film’s commercial spaceship are unlikeable. All are in danger. Yaphet Kotto plays a salary-obsessed technician. Veronica Cartwright acts a brittle woman who likes to complain. They and the others find themselves in a domain of dehumanization and cruelty and, of course, alien malevolence. The technological sets, so often in dim light, still look pretty good, and the acting is solid, save that Sigourney Weaver sleepwalks in the quieter moments. In the tense, hair-raising scenes she is fine.

The movie emits sexual sparks, I should indicate, in the form of Miss Weaver’s thin panties. The footage is brief and it gives Alien a lot more spice than anything else does. Can’t call it a dumb move.

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